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North of Boston and the Mystery of the Peabody Dino

March 7, 2014

They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words” – never has that been more true.

Yesterday, on our Facebook page, we posted a mystery photo we had found on Pinterest.  Research (aka, Google) offered no insight as to why there was a giant T-Rex at the North Shore Shopping Centre in Peabody in the 1960s.  It’s a strange sight indeed – perhaps made stranger by the fact that we really couldn’t find any other photos of the giant dino.  One would think that such a sight would have been better-documented.

After ruling out a few possibilities with some of our Facebook followers, we ruled out that this dino was the one from the Museum of Science or mini-golf course on Route 1 in Saugus (although it looks very similar to the Museum’s).  So, what’s the story?


The Sinclair Oil Company made these life-size dinosaurs (there were more than just the T-Rex in the photo) for their Dinoland exhibit at the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York.  The exhibit featured realistic fiberglass dinosaurs their “natural” habitat.  It was sort of an inanimate (and much safer) “Jurassic Park.”

The exhibit was a huge hit and the dinosaurs made an appearance in the 1966  Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and went on tour to 38 major US cities.


The map is a little hard to read, but one of these stops is marked “Boston.”  We don’t know if the dinosaurs visited Boston itself or if they just stopped in the nearby Peabody (the space at the North Shore Shopping Centre, now the North Shore Mall, would have been more accommodating for the gigantic dinos), but nonetheless, they made an exciting trip to the North of Boston region.

So where is this mammoth T-Rex today?  As far as we could find, he’s at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Texas.

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